Welcome back to Invitation Printing 101. Today we’re discussing my personal favorite — letterpress!
• Indented impression
• Matte ink
• Usually printed on a textured cotton paper
It’s great for:
• Everything from classic to whimsical styles
• Weddings, holiday cards, baby announcements, the list goes on….
• Designs with one, two or three ink colors
It’s often combined with:
• Foil details
• Thick paper
• Envelope liners
There’s something about this antique printing process that I just adore. Letterpress printing uses plates to create an indented impression, leaving you with a beautifully textured surface on your invitation. The inks are translucent and soak into the paper so we recommend working with light-colored papers like white, ivory or blush. Your text should be in a medium or dark ink for optimal legibility while decorative details can be printed in any color — go light for a subtle look or dark for a more bold effect.
Maybe I’m a bit of a nerd, but I think the process is pretty cool. Here’s a short video if you want to check it out 🙂
Samples and Inspiration
Because of its versatility and refined nature, letterpress is our most popular printing method for invitations so we have LOTS of samples to show off. Here are just a few of our favorites…
We like to refer to the following two invitations as “traditional with a twist.” They’re mostly classic in style but their font choices and letterpressed borders give them a fresh look. Their envelope liners add unique character while allowing the invitations themselves to remain timeless.
This next invitation mixes in foil details to highlight the bride and groom’s names alongside the charcoal letterpress text and monogram. The look is polished further with its striking gray envelope and custom liner.
I love letterpress + foil combinations for deco invitations like this custom design. The mix of matte and metallic finishes result in a truly refined look. Instead of a pocket to hold everything together, we used a foil and letterpress bellyband.
Did I mention that letterpress is REALLY versatile? Next, we have a couple invitations that show off whimsical, rustic and nautical styles. As designers, letterpress allows us to take more casual fonts and motifs and really step them up to create an impressive final product. For example, we can take a fun, rustic theme and make it truly North-Fork-winery-ready by adding another layer of dimension and texture through this antique printing process.
^ Photo Credit: Jay Lim
And of course, letterpress isn’t just for weddings. We designed this custom, gender-neutral baby shower invitation last year and letterpressed it to give it that extra special, handcrafted touch.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing and pulling samples of something I adore so much. I feel giddy every time a letterpress order arrives at our studio and I think I can speak for the entire Fat Cat Team and say that we’ll never get tired of hearing how much our clients love their invitations and how happy they are with the final printed product.
As always, happy planning!
ps: Looking for more inspiration? Check out a selection of our letterpress invitations here.